Tag Archives: poetry

Sometimes I write poetry. Sometimes it rocks and sometimes it….doesn’t.

Year of No Fear – 2014 Manifesto – March Progress Report

This has been a very slow month for me because my back is still a problem, so most of what I wanted to do had to be put off. 😦 Makes me sad, but the year is still young and I need to take care of myself.

So here’s the rundown of what I’ve accomplished:

~Poetry: I’ve looked over some poem drafts. Still waiting for something to gel. Got everything set up on my HDX so if something hits me on the go, I can jump on it.
~Self-portraits: I’ve started, as an experiment, taking selfies on my new Kindle Fire HDX. Totally not serious, completely goofy, just to get used to doing it again. I’m going to try to take a pic a day for 30 days, and see how that goes. It’s something.
~Photography: Got plans. Need to execute them as soon as my back is better (HDR photos and park photos are planned, so far).
~Ice skating: On hold till back is better. But hey, I got new ice skates from the hubby for my birthday! Can’t wait to try them out!
~Revision: It’s coming along pretty darned well. Just hit 40k in draft, and I’m excited about it again. This month however is devoted to my TDP anthology story “Reaper Girl” which is due May 1st.
~Erotica: Ideas are happening. No real time to tinker, unfortunately.
~Diet: Lost 7 pounds! Trying really hard to watch what I eat and how much.
~Optimism: Been sorta tough with health things happening, but I am trying.

And that’s basically it. Still progressing which is good, right?

#ROW80 Check-in the Twentieth – busy busy busy

I can’t believe I have no new words to report! Well, exactly I have new words, just not on Grave Touched. I worked on a short story for the Turtleduck Press Freebie Rotation. Short stories used to be almost impossible for me to write. I’m such a longwinded writer! So for a very, very long time, I avoided it at all costs. So I wrote poetry for the TDP Freebies and all was well.

Then I was required to write a short story for one of our TDP Anthologies. Yikes! Luckily, I’d come up with an idea and was able to write pretty much to the correct wordcount (the story in question is Stasis, in our Seasons Eternal Anthology, BTW. It’s about a world with seasons that don’t ever change). And I realized, hey, maybe it’s not impossible!

Then I took Holly Lisle’s Flash Fiction class. What a challenge. Writing flash felt like writing haiku! But I worked on it and was able to write 7 flash stories. Seven! And I ended up self-pubbing In Flames, my own flash anthology, last August (and it’s freeeeeeee).

So, over the past two days, I’ve written a grand total of 2,600 words. I had a bit of trouble with the ending, the how of it, but I believe I’ve worked it out. It just needs to be edited and/or tweaked, but it’s done. I’m pretty happy with it.

So how come I’m not writing poetry? Well…my poetry muse has kinda been in hiding. I get flashes of stuff occasionally, but haven’t found anything strong enough to sit down and develop. According to my Year of No Fear Manifesto, I’m supposed to be writing poetry. But the year is still young and I’m sure something will come to me. (I did look over some drafts of poems I wrote for the various TDP freebies, some of which I’d abandoned, so looking at them again may spark some ideas).

I’ve also been really, really busy this weekend. Some of my weekends are, unfortunately. I spent most of yesterday reformatting both my poetry chapbooks because I realized I’d forgotten to include a copyright page! Granted, I was just starting out then, so it’s an easy mistake to make. So I have proofs coming soon. And our internet was a bit touchy so every time I made some progress, it’d hang up somewhere. And then came the backups. I have a backup program that does it automatically, but I am severely paranoid (or is it OCD?) about having multiple backups everywhere: on CD, on a thumb drive (this stays in my purse at all times), backup drive, Dropbox, email…yeah, kinda wacky but let me tell you, I’ve had computers die suddenly on me with 10+ years of writing on them, and I haven’t *knock on cyberwood* lost a SINGLE thing yet. So it’s working!

Today alone has been nuts, too. Went to watch the hubby bowl, took a nap (because I was up at 8am on a weekend day! Yikes!), came home, did some housework, cleaned the fish tank, and now I’m here typing this up. I’m not even sure if I’ll get to writing today. I hope so!

Not doing stats as they are identical to the last check-in.

Getting down to the wire now!

2012 in Review and 2013 Goals: Year of the Crazy

This year has been nuts, and it feels like a whirlwind. But I managed to accomplish a lot, so it’s all good.

Let’s go over my goals for the year, shall we?

Finish Fey Touched and eventually self-publish it (includes lots of revisions and lots of blood, sweat, and tears). It’s currently at 58.5k. Goal is 100k.Ding, ding, ding! DONE and published August 1st.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully move on from lesson 8! Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I’m on lesson 13.
~Write a novel (to be determined later. Current contenders are Survivor Rewrite, Darkweaver, and Fey Touched 2)Ding, ding, ding! Began Grave Touched, book 2 in the Fey Touched series, and it’s currently at 73k. While I wanted to get something new rolling as well, it appears that I work best with only one book at a time.
~Get unstuck on Alpha Female (note I didn’t say – finish Alpha Female – this one I think is taking its sweet old time)Nada. However, I did give it some thought and have a possible new direction. Still in the thinking stages, though.
~Write more poetry (nebulous, yes. That’s all I’m willing to commit to)Ding, ding, ding! DONE. Wrote a total of 6 new poems for the TDP Blog Freebies. Not as much as I’d wanted, but it’s a start.
~Take more pictures (photography has been sooooo neglected and I miss it so much!)Hit and miss here. I’ve taken some, but I still haven’t been able to get out there and rock and roll due to my health. Soooooo, we’ll see what I do for next year.

~And lastly, WORK ON GETTING FREELANCE EDITING JOBS. I had a few opportunities this year but they didn’t work out, although one was a very close call. Not only do we need the money, but my long-term goal is to make enough money to leave my day job. Scary, yes. Impossible? I don’t think so, if I do this right. And I know this won’t happen overnight — in fact, it could take quite awhile – years, maybe. But, as long as I’m moving forward, making progress, that’s enough for me. I want to believe I can make this happen. But if I never start, how will I ever know? Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I have an ongoing proofreading job with a writer friend, so that’s a nice start! Would love to do more, though!

So, I’ve accomplished almost everything I set out to do. The biggie was getting Fey Touched finished and published, and I did that. It was a very educational experience, and I’ve learned some things about promotion/marketing. So it’s all good.

I did participate in NanoWriMo, but unofficially with a goal of 30k. I managed 29k, just shy of my goal. But I’m totally happy with that.

Also, I wrote 100k+ words this year, which is awesome!

So what’s cooking for the new year?

~Finish, revise, and publish Grave Touched tentatively for August 1st release
~Continue work on the Flamebound revision, hopefully finish!
~Reread Survivor and make notes for rewrite
~Start a new novel? (Contenders: Darkweaver and Soul Touched, Fey Touched book 3)
~Redesign website so it makes sense
~Get on a regular blogging schedule
~Continue to look for more freelance editing/proofreading jobs

Annd that’s all I’m declaring for now. Here’s to a healthy, productive new year!

What are your goals for next year? Share them in comments.

Working hard.

I’ve been hard at work on revisions for Fey Touched.  It’s been interesting and a bit crazy.

After I sent in Fey Touched to my editor April 1st, I had a bit of time to putz.  So, I worked on a loose plot for the sequel, Grave Touched.  I also worked on lesson 12 of HTRYN with Flamebound.

I’m very happy with what I got done.

Now I’m about 3 weeks away from my next deadline, June 5th.  I’m not even halfway through.  I’ve run into a few problems and it took a bit longer than I thought.  But, as of yesterday, I started moving forward again.  \ 0 /

I’m also trying to nail down what I want to do with Darklight.  I have ideas for a second and third book, so stayed tuned for that.

I also got a beautiful review for Without Wings which made my whole week.  Check it out here:

2011 in Review and 2012 Goals: The Year of Change

This year has been a game changer for me, so I had to constantly revise and refine my goals numerous times.  Here’s the recap:

~I didn’t query a single agent this year, but I did participate in an agent-judged contest and didn’t even make the first cut.  However, it was a great experience putting my work out there. I also strongly believe that the book I used wasn’t the right one.

~Pirouette, my beloved Pirouette, is off the table this year.  I finished the revision (4th draft) and sent it off to critiquers as planned.  However, preliminary feedback has suggested that it might not be ready for submission yet.  While my first instinct was to rip it to shreds again, it was suggested by some close writer friends that I set it aside to gain much needed distance, as I’m failing to see its true flaws.  Now I am still waiting for the rest of the feedback, but I have a feeling I’ll get more of the same.  Either way, I need distance.  Right now, it has become the book of my heart which is not a good thing.  So, for now and most likely 6 months to a year, Pirouette will rest.  I’ll get the rest of the feedback hopefully soon and will start making some decisions.

~Pirouette was the only novel I felt was submission-worthy, so there was nothing to submit anywhere else, unfortunately.

~I’ve made the decision to experiment with self-publishing for my fiction.  I’m currently hard at work on Fey Touched, which I hope to publish through Turtleduck Press next year.

So, because if these things, everything needed an overhaul.

Let’s look at the 2011 goals, shall we?

~SUBMIT something.  This is HUGE.  This year was supposed to be the year for that, but I got a bit derailed.  I will submit something if it kills me.  Most likely either Alpha Female or Pirouette. As I said above, this was not in the cards.
~Finish up Alpha Female and get it critted. I did finish the final revision, but I’m stuck on some plot points, so this has been waiting patiently for me to return to it.
~Do the final revision on Pirouette and get it to critters. Ding, ding, ding! Done.
~Submit something! Again, did not happen, sadly…actually technically, I did submit something to that contest.  That’s big.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully finish (I see a rewrite in my future…) I have continued the revision, but I’m still on lesson 8. I am making progress, just slowly.
~Finish Without Wings, my second poetry chapbook with Turtleduck Press, and get it to approvals by Feb. 1st.  This is a biggie because it still needs some work and time is ticking. Ding, ding, ding! Done.
~Write (hopefully) Darkweaver. Completely derailed, but I’m tentatively scheduling this for 2012.  I have a specific publisher in mind.
~Work on Don’t Close Your Eyes, chapbook #3.This one is also off the table, for two reasons: 1) I’m done writing chapbooks for the foreseeable future, and 2) The subject matter is something I can’t write about yet.  I’m not ready.
~Do not get derailed this time.  Stay to the goals. Ha, ha, HA!
~Get an agent. This is also off the table till I get something submission-worthy done.  I have a few ideas.

While this looks totally pitiful, I’ve learned a lot this year: roll with the changes, be flexible, sometimes you can’t keep to the exact plan, experimentation is great, and, most of all, sometimes something isn’t ready for the big time.  While it might feel that way, it’s not necessarily so.  Big lesson here.  And distance.  I’m learning this right now.

Soooooo what’s in store for 2012, huh?

This is all subject to change (gotta declare that):

~Finish Fey Touched and eventually self-publish it (includes lots of revisions and lots of blood, sweat, and tears).  It’s currently at 58.5k.  Goal is 100k.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully move on from lesson 8!
~Write a novel (to be determined later.  Current contenders are Survivor Rewrite, Darkweaver, and Fey Touched 2)
~Get unstuck on Alpha Female (note I didn’t say – finish Alpha Female – this one I think is taking its sweet old time)
~Write more poetry (nebulous, yes. That’s all I’m willing to commit to)
~Take more pictures (photography has been sooooo neglected and I miss it so much!)

~And lastly, WORK ON GETTING FREELANCE EDITING JOBS.  I had a few opportunities this year but they didn’t work out, although one was a very close call.  Not only do we need the money, but my long-term goal is to make enough money to leave my day job.  Scary, yes.  Impossible?  I don’t think so, if I do this right.  And I know this won’t happen overnight — in fact, it could take quite awhile – years, maybe.  But, as long as I’m moving forward, making progress, that’s enough for me. I want to believe I can make this happen.  But if I never start, how will I ever know?

So those are my goals for next year.  😀  What are your goals for 2012?

 

 

Winter’s Night, a Giveaway, and an update

Winter’s Night is Turtleduck Press’s latest offering that released on December 1st.  It is a winter-themed anthology with some awesome stories and some awesome poems.  Proceeds are going to UNICEF.  Check it out here: http://www.turtleduckpress.com . It’s really cool.

I’d like to give away an e-copy to a lucky person.  All you gotta do is comment to this post.  Please include your email address.  I’ll draw one name at random on Dec. 10th, so please check back!

I have been very busy with Fey Touched.  I ended my unofficial NaNoWriMo with 31k, which was fantastic.  My plan is to continue writing this month as if it were Nano.  Goal is 30k.  As of today, it is 33k.

It’s going very well.  I have some things I need to tweak, but per my new rules, nothing is being rewritten.  I also got hit with an idea for book 2.  I was actually going to use it for Fey Touched but decided against it.  It would totally change everything and it could be given the attention it deserves in book 2. Book 2 is tentatively called Sun Touched, but that might change.

Finally, I’ve been writing more poetry for Turtleduck Press, and I’m enjoying it a lot.  I’d like to start writing poetry on a more regular basis.  Also, I started working on the Flamebound revision again.  I can’t seem to let that one go, even though it’s been sitting for over a year. I think my muse is floundering a bit.  But that’s not a bad thing — it keeps me working.

Soon I’ll be making my goals for 2012.  Seems like the year just flew by!

 

 

 

Update

Things are finally rolling along with writing.  I floundered and flailed a lot, and got hit with an idea that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.  It’s actually the project formally known as Surrender, which was originally The Sacrifice, my first finished novel evah written in November for NanoWriMo.  My first time.  Ah, the memories.

So now it’s a science fantasy that basically has the Fey rooted in science, not myth.  Sound interesting?  It’s a million shades of cool, and I’ve been majorly jazzed.  I am beginning to enjoy writing again.  I still feel the need to rewrite stuff, but so far, I’m winning the argument.  First draft, baby.  Rewrites will come.

I’m hoping — if my wrists hold — to get a good chunk of this done by the end of the year.  I’m most likely going to publish it with Turtleduck Press, and my deadline is April 1st.  Kind of scary, but good practice, too.  So, this is my unoffical NanoWriMo novel.  It’s called Fey Touched.  The name Surrender didn’t fit as well as Fey Touched did.  I’m hoping to make this into a series.

Darklight has been put aside.  I thought I could do both, but I really work better with one project.  I need to get immersed into the story, and I can’t do that if I’m thinking about another story.

I’m still going to try to work on the Alpha Female revision as planned, after my words are done for the day.  I still believe in it and think I could make it so much better. I’d love to be able to submit it soon.

As for Pirouette, it’s with critiquers.  Until I get more feedback, I can’t make any decisions on whether or not to work on it more.  I’m guessing yes, but we will see.

I’m also writing more poetry for Turtleduck Press.  It’s been eye-opening so far.  I seem to have changed a bit, and I hope for the best.

What else?  Something huge recently happened that shook things up at home.  For awhile I couldn’t write, but now I’m finding it a comfort.  And that’s a good thing.

Oh yeah — I guest blogged on my friend Ana Ramsey’s blog.  I talked about my crazy muse and I.  Go read it.  It’s cool.  Linky: http://anaquana.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/guest-post-5-erin-kendall-surviving-my-muse/ .

 

Perfect is the enemy of the good.

This is one of Holly Lisle’s concepts in her How to Think Sideways class.  Something I seem to have forgotten in my quest to get published.

Lately I’ve been feeling out of sorts and frustrated with my writing.  Darklight has been stalled, the poems I wrote for Turtleduck Press were like pulling teeth, and every time I sat down to write I was paralyzed by the fear that whatever I write won’t be good enough.  That anything I wrote would be crap and no one would want to publish any of it.  That everyone else would be successful but I wouldn’t be because my writing sucked and wasn’t publishable.

Talk about a head case.  I started thinking more positively, that no, my stuff didn’t suck and yes, I would be published someday, and that was that.  And I remembered how I used to write when I first started 10 years ago (!)  : I wrote with joy.  I didn’t worry about anything on the page.  I kept moving forward.  I didn’t analyze anything to death and I rarely, if ever, rewrote anything during drafting.  But as time went on, this perfectionism crept in through the cracks.  It was insidious.  Just a “that first scene isn’t right.  Maybe you should rewrite it?”  became “wow, that whole first chapter sucks.  Let’s start again.  And again. And again.”  And this is why Darklight‘s first two chapters have been rewritten no less than 5 times.  Head. Desk.

I worried too much about making it perfect — the mood, the hook, the main character — and I completely derailed myself.  I’m not even supposed to rewrite while drafting.  It used to be an ironclad rule.  Now it’s more of an afterthought.

So I decided to bring the love back.  I will write and not worry about anything anymore.  I’ll let the story unfold the way it’s going to unfold, and I will follow my muse.  NO REWRITES.  I can make notes.  But that’s it.

And I will continue to work at getting published.  I’ll edit and revise and rewrite when it’s time.

And lastly, I won’t ever tell myself that I’m not good enough, because I AM.  And I know that deep down.  Sometimes it gets lost in the daily shuffle.  No more.

As Holly Lisle says, write with joy.

This is tough.

I’m writing poetry again, and it’s like a half-remembered dream.  It disappears when I get too close to it.

Why am I torturing myself so?

Well, Turtleduck Press is putting together a winter-themed anthology, and since I can’t write a short story, it was suggested I write poetry.

Easy, right?

Oh sure, I can wax poetic on love, winter, Christmas.  But for it to sing, to move me, not so much.  I tried a new form, too, called the rondeau.  It’s French, and it involves repetition in a certain pattern.  I love poems with repetition and have been successful with both sestinas and pantoums.  And I’m normally very edgy about formal poetry, but this speaks to me.

Oh my goodness.  I feel like a novice poet — as if the past 15 years of poems haven’t been written.  I feel like a stranger in my skin.  What the heck happened?

I suspect I’m out of practice.  And writing to a theme is really tough.  I keep trying to write sad love poems.  And the Christmas poem I wrote was also sad.  I’m not sure that’s going to work.

But, gonna keep poking at it.  Maybe something will come.

Update – Still alive, mostly.

Um, yeah.  I’ve been working on Pirouette (up to page 88 of 281) and promoting both Life as a Moving Target and Without Wings.

I’ve had some issues with Pirouette.  I’ve made a very critical change to the book near the beginning, and while I believe it will make everything stronger, it kind of threw me for a loop.  Alisia and Lucien have to react to this and it’s not something they’ve encountered before.  Also, they are newly married, so things are a bit tricky right now.

I just finished the second new scene of 3 and I’m not sure I nailed it.  Lucien leaves the room at the end, and I didn’t plan that.  I asked my muse, “WTH? Why did he leave?” And my muse hasn’t answered my question yet.  I hope she will sometime soon.

I’m also a bit worried about the length.  Two words: Growing. Again.

In cheerier news, I have some new and not-so-new stuff happening.  I’ve decided my next project is to try to finish the revision of Flamebound and then begin the rewrite.  I have some ideas for that, and I might try to fit in some revision work here and there when I can.  Pirouette is still the priority though.

And lastly, I have an idea for a horror story.  I don’t even know what it wants to be – short story, novella, or novel.  It came fast and furious in the shower one night and I’m pretty excited.  Just don’t know when I’ll be working on it.  It doesn’t even have a title yet.

So that’s what’s shaking here in my world.  Stay tuned.